activism

Topeka K. Sam on decriminalizing women and girls of color

Topeka K. Sam, has been fighting for the dignity, decriminalization and decarceration of women and girls of color since her release from federal prison in 2015. In this episode, we were blessed to have this great lady share eye opening information on incarceration as it pertains to young women. Take a listen to learn more about Topekas tireless advocacy and why it is so vital.

You can support Topeka’s work by visiting The LOHM. 

WGRL/Nessa Scholarship Interns

This interview is part of the Girls Club Nessa radio journalism internship program, where high school girls learn the basics of journalism, discuss important social justice issues, and book and record an interview with a guest of their choice.
In 2020 instead of cancelling our in person classes, Nessa and her crew graciously transitioned our sessions online. Every week our little team met virtually in the midst of the fear of COVID-19, isolation, and amplified racial terrorism of 2020.  In addition to a space of learning from seasoned professionals, our virtual classroom became a safe haven to connect, listen deeply and support each other during this traumatic time.
This episode of “The QuaranTeen Sessions” was conducted by Kaitlyn Ruiz, as always under the guidance and mentorship of our number one big Sister and advocate, Emmy award nominated Nessa!

 

Martha’s Place – Civil Rights and home cooking In Alabama!

During our trip to Montgomery, Alabama earlier this year we got a special treat when we stopped by the roadside restaurant Martha’s Place.

The owner, author and chef, Martha Hawkins, opened up to us about marching with Dr. King, her personal struggles and her ultimate triumph starting her own restaurant.

We had a great interview and a delicious meal!

Please make Martha’s Place your go-to spot when in Montgomery and support this amazing woman and get a real taste of the South!

Talking Education Reform with Maria Bautista

As the final interview of the Nessa scholarship in radio journalism for the class of 2019, our young reporter Nylia Chiquito, an aspiring educator herself,  reached out to Maria Bautista, Campaigns Director for The Alliance for Quality Education. 

One of the most important steps we can take in creating change is the education of our youth. We spoke to Maria about her vision and some of the challenges in implementing policies that could impact our world in a positive way.

“The Alliance for Quality Education is a coalition mobilizing communities across the state to keep New York true to its promise of ensuring a high quality public education to all students regardless of zip code. Combining its legislative and policy expertise with grassroots organizing, AQE advances proven-to-work strategies that lead to student success and ultimately create a powerful public demand for a high quality education.
Founded in 2000, AQE quickly became New York state’s lead community-based organization in the fight for high quality public education.”

Nick Cannon at Know Your Rights Camp — On Community Building

A huge shout-out to our friends and supporters at the Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC) and of course our big sisters in journalism Nessa and Katrina B who made it possible for us to spend a few minutes with Nick Cannon this spring.

Nick was supporting the KYRC movement in Baltimore when our WGRL reporter Shandra Rogers had an insightful exchange with him on positive change for the community.

Thank you Nick Cannon for a thoughtful and inspiring conversation and thank you to Know Your Rights Camp Baltimore for an incredible day with youth — the heartbeat of the city of Baltimore.

Photo courtesy Tony Ng, @djtonedef

 

Patricia Robinson — Superheroes Don’t Always Wear Capes

In this second of our series done by our HOT97 Nessa show interns, we interview the unstoppable Ms. Patricia Robinson of Emmis Communications and The Know Your Rights Camp.

Ms Pat, as she is affectionately known, is proof positive that superheroes don’t always wear capes — sometimes they sport 6-inch stiletto heels and leopard print!

Patricia Robinson is a trailblazing leader who is highly recognized for her contributions in the media industry, community and social activism engagement.

We are so proud of LESGC member Zipporah Najar for taking the lead on an informative interview on career, community and making those difficult life decisions.

Patricia Robinson (C) and Patricia Robinson Girls Club members attend The Lower East Side Girls Club Spring Fling at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York, NY on April 10, 2019. (Photo by Stephen Smith/Guest of a Guest)

Essential Self Love in Critical Times with Aicha Sacko and Cleo Wade

The first in our series of interviews conducted and edited by our 2019 interns in our radio mentor and big sis Nessa’s scholarship program at HOT97! In this episode Aicha Sacko and Cleo Wade discuss how self love sets the foundation for how we successfully navigate the world.

In this radio journalism intensive, each of Nessa’s interns chose a guest and topic they were passionate about, composed questions, conducted the interview and then edited the final podcast using professional audio editing software.

In Aicha’s words:
“The peak of the Nessa internship was definitely interviewing one of my good friends, author Cleo Wade, on the importance of self love and self care. A lot of times we forget what it means to love ourselves and take care of our bodies while we are busy working, studying and trying to make a difference in the world. In this interview I learned that it is okay to step back and put yourself first. As Cleo would say – I love you. “

Enjoy this excellent and informative interview!

Ms. Leona Tate of the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum

One of the highlights of our Civil Rights trip to New Orleans and Montgomery, Alabama last year was meeting Mrs. Leona Tate, one of The McDonogh Three.
Ms. Tate was one of three African-American girls, who, at the age of six, were the first black students to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans!
We met Mrs. Tate at the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum, where she is a board member continuing the activism and work for her community that she started as a small child.

Ralph from the Good Dog Foundation

We were so excited to interview Ralph from the Good Dog Foundation to talk about all the benefits of therapy dogs. Since Ralph is a dog his owner Anne Cohen did most of the talking. 🙂

As the largest certifying animal-assisted therapy organization on the East Coast of the United States, Good Dog currently operates in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and at disaster sites around the country. Their work encompasses the fields of Health Care, Education, and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response.

When Ralph and Anne were certified in Feb 2014, they tried a number of programs—older people with dementia, kids with serious neurological issues, teens with psychosocial issues, people with mental illnesses, and Gilda’s Club—but many of those opportunities were only on a monthly basis, and they wanted to go someplace more often, where they could be part of the community.

So eventually they ended up at Mount Sinai, where they’ve gone once and usually twice a week since Sept 2014.

Their regular visits are to the Pediatric ICU and to a women’s health floor. They are often asked to stop by and visit other patients as well.

Enjoy this conversation with Ralph and his human Anne Cohen!

Talking Herstory with FM Supreme and Chicago Teens

It was amazing to meet the women and teens of Chicago’s HerStory and learn about what they do, the challenges teens face there and the work they are undertaking in the neighborhoods.
We hope to one day visit them in person and see first hand the incredible difference young girls are making in their community!

Music – Still Believe from FM Supreme

Confronting Criminal Injustice

This Fall, we were blessed to work with longtime Girl’s Club collaborator and A Blade of Grass Fellow Jackie Sumell on her Solitary Gardens project in a larger event sponsored by ABOG.

Big shout out to all the collaborators and ABOG for a fantastic evening – you can catch the full panel here hosted by WGRL and featuring panelists from Re:Entry Think Tank and Solitary Gardens discussing the work they are doing to confront and change our criminal justice system.

 

 

Sowing Seeds of Hope with Jackie Sumell

Jackie Sumell is an incredible artist, activist  and compassionate friend of the Girls Club.
Her work seeks to expose and change the abuses perpetrated by the criminal justice system in America.
We caught up with Jackie in her home town of New Orleans, at her Solitary Garden project. What resulted is more of a discussion than an interview, one that we hope more people will be having after The Solitary Garden tour this Fall.
To find out more about the project please visit the Solitary Gardens website. 

Shine On! with Reese Witherspoon, Elaine Welteroth, and Cleo Wade

“The Best Thing about Girl Power is over time it becomes Women Power” – Cleo Wade.

We were thrilled to be featured in Reese Witherspoon’s new series “Shine On with Reese Witherspoon” from her women-centric media production company Hello Sunshine! on the DirectTV platform.

We also got a chance to sit down with Reese and Girls Club fam and supporters Elaine Welteroth and Cleo Wade for an in depth convo on women in media, sisterhood, and developing a circle of support.

Thank you ladies for a day filled with love, laughter and real talk!